let them eat cake

Best Margarita 

1.5 oz tequila

1.5 oz fresh lime juice

.75 oz triple sec

.75 oz agave nectar

Good ice

Kosher salt

Dave Grilled and made Pimms Cups and his own marinade!

I got a grilling lesson.  Dave taught me how to turn on and off the grill and that grilling requires a lot of patience.    

Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner all look sorta the same …


It was Michelle’s birthday, so I decided to make a cake from scratch.  Then I decided I needed to “carve” the cake to even up the sides.  I ain’t no Ace or Boss, I can tell you that for sure, but I sure did enjoy making it!  My icing was a little thin and it was a hot day in San Francisco so it even melted a little.  I can’t wait to try it again!  (and I heard it tasted good, I couldn’t taste it b/c of the flour but I trust Ina.)

Ina’s Vanilla Birthday Cake


For the cake:

                      18 tablespoons (2 1/4 sticks) unsalted butter, at room temperature

                      3 cups sugar

                      6 extra-large eggs, at room temperature

                      8 ounces (about 1 cup) sour cream, at room temperature

                      1 1/2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract

                      1 lemon, zested

                      3 cups all-purpose flour

                      1/3 cup cornstarch

                      1 teaspoon kosher salt

                      1 teaspoon baking soda

For the frosting:

                      3/4 pound (3 sticks) unsalted butter, at room temperature

                      3 pounds confectioners’ sugar, sifted

                      9 tablespoons milk

                      3 teaspoons pure vanilla extract

                      14 drops pink food coloring (rose petal shade)

                      Pink and white candy, for decorating


Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.

Butter and flour a 9-inch cake pan, a 6-inch cake pan, and a 3-inch cake pan.

To make the cake, cream the butter and sugar on medium-high speed in the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with a paddle attachment until light and fluffy, about 5 minutes. On medium speed, add the eggs, 2 at a time, then the sour cream, vanilla, and lemon zest, scraping down the bowl as needed. Mix well. Sift together the flour, cornstarch, salt, and baking soda. With the mixer on low speed, slowly add the flour mixture to the butter mixture and stir just until smooth. Finish mixing by hand to be sure the batter is well mixed. Proportionately divide the batter between the 3 cake pans. Smooth the tops with a spatula, and bake as follows: the 9-inch pan for 45 minutes, the 6-inch pan for 35 to 40 minutes and the 3-inch pan for 30 minutes, or until a toothpick comes out clean in each cake. Cool in the pans to room temperature.

For the frosting, cream the butter in the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment. Add the confectioners’ sugar, milk, and vanilla extract. Mix on low speed for 1 to 2 minutes, until thickened. Add the food coloring and turn the mixer off. Using a spatula, fully incorporate the color into the frosting.

Ina’s Parmesan-Roasted Broccoli


                  4 to 5 pounds broccoli

                  4 garlic cloves, peeled and thinly sliced

                  Good olive oil

                  1 1/2 teaspoons kosher salt

                  1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

                  2 teaspoons grated lemon zest

                  2 tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice

                  3 tablespoons pine nuts, toasted

                  1/3 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese

                  2 tablespoons julienned fresh basil leaves (about 12 leaves)


Preheat the oven to 425 degrees F.

Cut the broccoli florets from the thick stalks, leaving an inch or two of stalk attached to the florets, discarding the rest of the stalks. Cut the larger pieces through the base of the head with a small knife, pulling the florets apart. You should have about 8 cups of florets. Place the broccoli florets on a sheet pan large enough to hold them in a single layer. Toss the garlic on the broccoli and drizzle with 5 tablespoons olive oil. Sprinkle with the salt and pepper. Roast for 20 to 25 minutes, until crisp-tender and the tips of some of the florets are browned.

Remove the broccoli from the oven and immediately toss with 1 1/2 tablespoons olive oil, the lemon zest, lemon juice, pine nuts, Parmesan, and basil. Serve hot.


Oh man, this is good!

Vegetable Curry with Chickpeas

1 T olive oil

2 T diced poblano pepper

1 C diced onion

2 cloves garlic, peeled and miced

2 T peeled and mincd fresh ginger

1/3 cup 1/4” slices carrot

1/3 C diced celery

1 1/2 C 1 1/2” pieces of cauliflower

1 (15 oz) can low-sodium chickpeas, rinsed and drained

3/4 C organic low-sodium vegetable broth

1 t curry powder

1/2 t cumin

1/8 t cayenne pepper

1 1/2 t kosher salt

1/4 C lite coconut milk

1 T lemon juice

1 t chopped parsley

In a stock pot, heat olive oil over medium heat.  Once the oil is hot add peppers, onions, garlic, ginger, carrots, and celery.  Sauté vegetables until tender, about 8-10 minutes *cover pot as needed).

Add cauliflower, chickpeas, vegetable broth, and all of the spices.  Bring to a simmer (do not boil) for 20 minutes, stirring as needed.  Once the cauliflower is tender, stir in the coconut milk, lemon juice, and parsley.  Bring pot back to a simmer for 3-5 minutes so the liquid can thicken slightly.

Remove from hear and eat warm or chill and eat later.

I served this over black quinoa and had roasted chicken chunks that my meat eating friends could add.

Delicious and still so good (if not better) on day 2 and 3!

Tequila Anyone?!

My Parker School team came over for drinks and dinner.  Awesome.  We shared a few laughs, for sure, as well as a few pitchers of margaritas.  The night ended up with three of us running up a SF hill (Nicky in sandals) and Moka, the chocolate lab, spending the night here.  Good times! Here is the menu with the recipes and pics to (hopefully!) follow.  Happy, happy summer to all you teachers out there.


Tzatziki and veggies

Cowgirl Creamery cheese and crackers

Curried vegetables over black quinoa

Roasted chicken

Parmesan-roasted broccoli

Green salad

Birthday cake (homemade!) and ice-cream.

** I am definitely gaining confidence in my cooking skills but where I thrive is mixing cocktails - yum. 

Lemon Sesame Glazed Greens

1 big bunch of kale

1 T olive oil

2 cloves garlic, minced

1 lemon, zested

2 t freshly squeezed lemon juice

1 T agave nectar

1 ½ t kosher salt

¼ teaspoon freshly ground pepper

½ t red pepper flakes

1 T sesame seeds

Remove any large stems* from the greens and wash them thoroughly; do so in a sink with at least 5 inches of water.  Move the leaves through the water and let the sit in the water for a few minutes – this will release all of the dirt and grit from leafy green.  Once clean, roughly chop the kale.

Heat a large skillet on medium heat.  Once hot, add the olive oil.  Add the garlic, lemon zest, lemon juice, agave nectar, salt and pepper.  Stir to combine.  Add the kale and sauté for 4 – 5 minutes, tossing continually.  Add the red pepper flakes and the sesame seeds.  Toss to combine.  Hit with a splash of lemon juice just before serving and serve immediately. 

(*As it is my first time buying/eating/cooking kale – I removed the whole fibrous stem but some people like it.)

First Ever Smoothie - Barf … 

1 C cantaloupe ( I know, I know, melon in a smoothie?! But it was so ripe and delicious, I didn’t want it to go to waste.)

1 C vanilla, unsweetened almond milk

1 C Greek yogurt

Cinnamon to taste

Flax Seed powder (for extra health)

Makes 2 smoothies (or, in my case, zero as they were so awful , I had to throw them out.)

Battle  of the Marinades

Dave’s Marinade: New York Strip                   


Worcester sauce


Mustard Seeds

Ground Mustard Seeds


My Marinade:  Boneless, skinless chicken breast

¼ C Water

2 T sesame oil

Juice of half a lemon

¼ C  Rice wine vinegar

¼ C peanut butter

¼ C fresh parsley, chopped

1 T agave nectar

½ t cayenne pepper

2 gloves garlic, minced

¼ C scallions, minced

3 T gluten-free soy sauce

 Dave is a master griller!  Yum, I love summer!